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New York Philharmonic Presents 'Dohnanyi / Dvorak: A Philharmonic Festival', Now thru 12/13

The New York Philharmonic will present Dohnanyi / Dvorak: A Philharmonic Festival, today, December 4-13, 2014, featuring two all-Dvorak programs conducted by Christoph von Dohnanyi, acclaimed for his interpretations of the Czech composer.

The festival will also include a chamber music program featuring Alisa Weilerstein, Artist-in-Association Inon Barnatan, and Philharmonic musicians, co-presented with 92nd Street Y; the chamber concert will culminate a day-long exploration of the composer's life and music in Insights Immersion: "The Many Worlds of Antonin Dvorak," with discussions by renowned scholars and musicians, presented by the New York Philharmonic in association with 92nd Street Y. In addition an archival exhibit at the Czech Center Gallery will feature the original manuscript and original orchestral parts of the New World Symphony from the New York Philharmonic Archives. The Philharmonic is offering 100 free tickets for young people ages 13 to 26 to the concert Friday, December 12 as part of Philharmonic Free Fridays, which offers 100 free tickets to young people to each of the 2014-15 season's 18 Friday evening subscription concerts as part of Share the Music!, a new initiative to support expanded access to the New York Philharmonic. Dohnanyi / Dvorak continues the Philharmonic's annual, multi-week festival, an initiative Alan Gilbert introduced in his inaugural season as Music Director.

"Dvorak was, in a way, a missionary for American music," said Christoph von Dohnanyi. "He enjoyed the American music of those days and always encouraged other musicians to use it for composition. What attracts me to Dvorak's music is his honesty. He does not do anything unnecessary, like some other late-Romantic composers. He never overdoes it, and he never says anything he does not mean. It's wonderful music, and I'm looking forward to doing it with a great orchestra."

"Christoph von Dohnanyi is a very important conductor in the New York Philharmonic family," said Music Director Alan Gilbert. "Personally, he's been a huge figure in my musical life: he was music director at The Cleveland Orchestra when I was assistant conductor there, and he has been a musical model for me. His Dvorak recordings with The Cleveland Orchestra are incredible: he totally understands Dvorak's Eastern-European folk flavor, and it's music he loves and does supremely well."

In the festival's opening program, Mr. Dohnanyi conducts Dvorak's Cello Concerto, with Alisa Weilerstein as soloist, and Dvorak's Symphony No. 7, Thursday, December 4, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, December 5 at 2:00 p.m.; Saturday, December 6 at 8:00 p.m.; and Tuesday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. The Philharmonic gave the U.S. Premiere of both works on the program: the Cello Concerto in 1897, with Leo Stern as soloist and conducted by Anton Seidl, and the Symphony No. 7 in 1886, led by Theodore Thomas.

The festival's second program features Mr. Dohna?nyi conducting Dvorak's Piano Concerto -- with, in his Philharmonic debut Martin Helmchen, who has frequently collaborated with Mr. Dohnanyi -- and Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, From the New World, Thursday, December 11, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, December 12 at 8:00 p.m.; and Saturday, December 13 at 8:00 p.m. The Philharmonic gave the World Premiere of Dvor?a?k's New World Symphony in December 1893, led by Anton Seidl at Carnegie Hall. The New York Philharmonic Archives currently houses that original score and original orchestral parts, which will be on display at the Czech Center Gallery, November 17-21 (details below).

The festival will also include a chamber music program featuring Inon Barnatan in his first appearance as the Philharmonic's inaugural Artist-in-Association, Alisa Weilerstein, and Philharmonic Acting Concertmaster Sheryl Staples, Acting Principal Associate Concertmaster Michelle Kim, Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps, Associate Principal Oboe Sherry Sylar, Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill, Principal Bassoon Judith LeClair, and Acting Principal Trumpet Matthew Muckey, December 7, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. at 92nd Street Y. The program will featur Dvor?a?k's Terzetto in C major for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 74; Martinu's La Revue de cuisine Suite for Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, Violin, Cello, and Piano; Schulhoff's Divertissement for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon; and Dvor?a?k's Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 87. The program is co-presented with 92nd Street Y.

The festival also features Insights Immersion: "The Many Worlds of Antonin Dvorak," December 7, 2014, at 92nd Street Y, a day-long exploration of the composer's life and music with renowned scholars and musicians, presented in association with 92nd Street Y. The Insights Immersion begins at 10:30 a.m. with two sessions, each featuring lectures, discussions, and performances from which to choose, including The Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic Carol J. Oja speaking about Dvorak and the New World Symphony, and New York Philharmonic Archivist/Historian Barbara Haws and James H. North, author of New York Philharmonic: The Authorized Recordings 1905-2005: A Discography, on "Dvorak and the Philharmonic through Recordings: 1917-2008." The sessions will be followed by a plenary session featuring festival conductor Christoph von Dohna?nyi; New York University professor of music Michael Beckerman, author of New Worlds of Dvorak; and director of 92nd Street Y's Tisch Center for the Arts Hanna Arie-Gaifman. The Insights Immersion will lead into the chamber music concert, which Insights Immersion participants may elect to attend, featuring Alisa Weilerstein, Inon Barnatan, and Philharmonic musicians (details above); Dr. Beckerman will introduce the chamber music program. "The Many Worlds of Antonin Dvorak" is the Philharmonic's inaugural Insights Immersion, a new program of intensive immersions on single topics related to themes of the Philharmonic's current season, aimed at providing a deeper look for serious enthusiasts.

An archival exhibit featuring the original manuscript and original orchestral parts of the New World Symphony from the New York Philharmonic Archives will be on display at Bohemian National Hall at the Czech Center Gallery (321 E. 73rd Street), November 17-21, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily; admission is free. The exhibit marks the first time the original manuscript has left the Czech Republic since Dvor?a?k carried it there from New York City in 1895. The Czech Center New York and Dvorak American Heritage Association will offer free lectures, performances, and film screenings at Bohemian National Hall; more information is available at CzechCenter.com.

Expanding the focus on Dvorak throughout the season, Dvorak's chamber music is also featured on all 2014-15 Saturday Matinee Concerts. On November 29, 2014, Philharmonic musicians perform his Wind Serenade; the February 7, 2015, matinee, featuring Artist-in-Association Inon Barnatan alongside Philharmonic musicians, will include the Piano Quintet, Op. 81; and the season's final matinee, on May 23, 2015, will include the String Quintet in E-flat major, featuring Music Director Alan Gilbert playing viola alongside Philharmonic musicians.

Related Events:

- Philharmonic Free Fridays

The New York Philharmonic is offering 100 free tickets for young people ages 13 to 26 to the concert Friday, December 12 as part of Philharmonic Free Fridays. Information is available at nyphil.org/freefridays. Philharmonic Free Fridays offers 100 free tickets to 13- to 26-year-olds to each of the 2014-15 season's 18 Friday evening subscription concerts; it is part of Share the Music!, a new initiative to support expanded access to the New York Philharmonic.

- Insights Immersion: "The Many Worlds of Antonin Dvorak"
December 7, 2014
92nd Street Y

A day-long exploration of Dvor?a?k's life and music with renowned scholars and musicians. Two sessions, each featuring lectures, discussions, and performances from which to choose, will be followed by a plenary session with festival conductor Christoph von Dohna?nyi and others. The Insights Immersion will lead into the chamber music concert, which Insights Immersion participants may elect to attend, featuring Alisa Weilerstein, Inon Barnatan, and Philharmonic musicians. Presented by the New York Philharmonic in association with 92nd Street Y.

- Archival Exhibit
November 17-21, 2014, 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily
Bohemian National Hall at the Czech Center Gallery (321 E. 73rd Street)

An archival exhibit featuring the original manuscript and original orchestral parts of the New World Symphony from the New York Philharmonic Archives will be on display. Admission is free. The exhibit marks the first time the original manuscript has left the Czech Republic since Dvor?a?k carried it there from New York City in 1895.

- Pre-Concert Insights

Author, pianist, and professor Arbie Orenstein will introduce the program December 4- 6 and 9. Author Fred Plotkin will introduce the program December 11-13. Admission/Tickets to Pre-Concert Insights are $7; discounts are available for multiple talks, students, and groups. These events take place one hour before performances, and are held in the Helen Hull Room, unless otherwise noted. Attendance is limited to 90 people. Information: nyphil.org/preconcert or (212) 875-5656.

Pictured: Christoph von Dohnányi conducting the NY Philharmonic. Photo by Chris Lee.

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